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Large Game, Agricultural Land, and Settlement Pattern Change in the Eastern Mimbres Area, Southwest New Mexico

Part of the EMAP - Reports project

Author(s): Karen Schollmeyer

Year: 2011

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The 12th-century depopulation of large villages in the Mimbres region of the US Southwest has been attributed to a number of causes, including resource stress. This study combines archaeological evidence and models of environmental conditions in the eastern Mimbres area of southwest New Mexico to assess the magnitude and timing of food stress from a combination of a period of reduced precipitation and the effects of prolonged hunting and farming activities on the landscape. Results indicate that large game in the area was quite sensitive to hunting pressure, and was locally depleted long before settlement reorganization occurred. Access to arable land was somewhat reduced around the time of settlement reorganization, but productive land remained locally plentiful. Although the settlement reorganization did not

improve access to large game or arable land, farmers’ perceptions of below-average conditions for agriculture relative to their expectations and past experience would have contributed to decisions to move.

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Cite this Record

Large Game, Agricultural Land, and Settlement Pattern Change in the Eastern Mimbres Area, Southwest New Mexico. Karen Schollmeyer. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. 30 (3): 402-415. 2011 ( tDAR id: 391631) ; doi:10.6067/XCV88C9X4K


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.428; min lat: 32.927 ; max long: -107.356; max lat: 32.982 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Principal Investigator(s): Michelle Hegmon ; Margaret C. Nelson

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Large-Game--Agricultural-Land--and-Settlement-Pattern-Change-i... 804.18kb Oct 23, 2013 1:03:13 AM Public
Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America